SMITH COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - A Smith County man who assaulted an officer and was involved in a half hour SWAT standoff has been sentenced to life in prison.
Larry Hicks, 48, of Tyler, was sentenced in the 114th District Court by a Smith County jury for a charge of assault of a public servant. Hicks was arrested following a May 21, 2018, incident in the county.
According to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office, Hicks assaulted his parole officer who visited the residence to check on why Hicks’ security ankle bracelet had stopped working. He then barricaded himself in the home until a SWAT team was able to breach the door and take him into custody.
Thursday, the district attorney’s office released a statement on the case:
"Larry Hicks, DOB 08/26/1971, of Tyler, was sentenced to Life in prison in the 114th District Court by a Smith County Jury for the offense of Assault on a Public Servant. The victim in the case was Hicks’ parole officer, who on May 21, 2018, went to his Smith County home to check on Hicks’ ankle monitor that the parole officer had installed just three days prior. When the parole officer arrived, he noticed that Hicks had cut off the ankle monitor. After the officer took a picture of Hicks without the ankle monitor, the defendant became enraged and charged the parole officer and assaulted him.
When law enforcement arrived, Hicks refused to exit the residence, marking the start of an hour and half standoff with deputies from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. Once law enforcement learned that Hicks had a pistol inside the home, the Smith County SWAT team responded. The SWAT team made the decision to breach the front door after Hicks repeatedly refused to surrender. Once the door was breached, Hicks was taken into custody. Hicks was charged with Assault on a Public Servant and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.
At the trial, the jury heard evidence of Hicks’ lengthy criminal history. Hicks has 7 prior felony convictions, including a 50 year prison sentence for assaulting a peace officer with a deadly weapon in 1997. The resolution of the standoff would not have been possible without the quick and measured response from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and its SWAT team. “A life sentence in this case sends a strong message that repeatedly assaulting a public servant or peace officer of this community will not be tolerated”, said Assistant District Attorney Noah Coltman. The case was tried by Noah Coltman and R. Clay Kimbrough."